News & Updates

  • ELLeN goes Maryland

    A member of the ELLeN team, Jules Bündgens-Kosten, spent the fall term 2023/2024 in the USA, as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at UMBC, teaching a seminar based on ELLeN concepts and materials. A report about their stay in Maryland can be found here.

  • Students at TU Dortmund combine ELLeN project & maker culture

    In Winter term 2023/2024, students studying to become teachers for different school forms spent the semester exploring different kinds of dis/abilities and difference, as well as their implacations for the English language classroom. The course, taught by Carolyn Blume, used the resources of the HyLeC: Hybrid Learning Center to design – and create – products for use in inclusive and heterogeneous English classrooms. The future teachers used 3D printers, laser cutters, sewing machines, embroidery and a range of materials to create haptic teaching and learning materisl for inclusive EFL teaching. Some examples are featured below.

    Wooden tiles with laser engravings, showing pictures and QR codes on one side, text in laser-engraved letters and braille on the other side. Cards and post-its with feedback.
    Accessible and inclusive revision exercise/game for prepositions of place (grade 5). The cards contain images, Braille, and QR codes that lead to audio files.

    A reading ruler (A ruler like object with a window in it) from red transparent plastic, overlaid over a same text. Card with project info and post-its with feedback
    Reading ruler: Helps students to focus on one line of a text at a time.
  • Students at Ghent University created ELLeN-inspired multimedia products

    In December 2023, Master students of Gender and Diversity at Ghent University presented their multimedia products on the topics of ‘neurodiversity and neurodiversity and learning’. Students collaborated with lived experience experts in their work over several months.

    Two excellent examples of the work produced are Amaryllis and Simon’s podcast and Evy, Tim, Femke and Souad’s instagram wall.

  • Virtual teacher education workshop hosted by UMBC’s TESOL program

    On December 7th, Jules Buendgens-Kosten held a workshop on “Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Universal Design for Learning”, hosted by the TESOL program at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. During this 1-hour event, attended by 31 local educators from different subject disciplines, they drew on ELLeN educational materials (“IO1”) and on ELLeN interviews (“IO2”) to introduce key ideas related to neurodiversity and Universal Design for Learning, and to present the ELLeN project more generally.

    A slide on neurodiversity. It shows a picture of a meadow, and a quote by Murray: “One aspect of human diversity is the variety of processing styles we have: what we call neurodiversity. Like other kinds of diversity, it is probably a net positive, but it comes with serious challenges for those who are seen as divergent.”
  • Final Multiplier Event

    ELLeN held their final Multiplier Event on November 27th  and 28th as part of a symposium sponsored jointly between the Institute for Diversity Studies (Link: https://div.kuwi.tu-dortmund.de/) and the Dortmund Competence Center for Teacher Education and Research (Link: https://dokoll.tu-dortmund.de/ ) at the TU Dortmund. Additional funding was provided in part by the “Stifterverband” as part of DiTAIL, and through a generous donation by the “Friends of the TU Dortmund”.

    Over the course of three presentations, members of the ELLeN Team shared different aspects of the work that has transpired over the last three years and that will be disseminated in the coming weeks and months. Caro Blume offered an overview of ELLeN and highlighted its relationship to the theme of the symposium: Teaching and learning about digitality and diversity in (foreign) language teacher education. Raúl García, and Pasquale Uferkamp illustratively shared information about the process and products developed for teacher educators and professionals looking to extend their knowledge of neurodiversity and English language learning. This was followed by insights into the collected data, with Michelle Proyer and Geert van Hove reporting on how pre-service teachers involved in participatory research grappled with the tensions of teaching inclusively in systems that are not always inclusive. Rieke Dieckhoff then joined Raúl García to discuss the findings from descriptive and qualitative data, likewise revealing pre-service teachers’ perspectives on ELLeN-related activities and content.

    The symposium was attended by members of the TU Dortmund community, as well as external visitors who braved the weather and related travel delays to join the sessions. The questions and comments by the members of the audience demonstrated an appreciation for the complexity of preparing pre-service teachers for challenging educational environments, and equally, the importance of doing so.

    Conference proceedings are planned for publication in 2024.